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Norman Macleod
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 266 pages of information about Parish Papers.
do you candidly believe to be the Christianity of the New Testament?  If you hesitate ere you reply to this question of historical fact, open again the New Testament, with a manly resolution to examine it, and obtain information, and ask its pages, What is Christianity? Read even such passages as the following:—­John x., xiv., and xv.; Acts. first four chapters; the Epistles to the Ephesians and Philippians—­portions of Scripture which may be read almost in an hour or two.  You do not require to master the whole world of truth which is there revealed, but only to notice the Sun of that world; and say, is it not faith in Jesus, love to Jesus, obedience to Jesus as to no one else in the universe except to God Almighty?

I at once frankly express my earnest conviction that this, if true, involves the truth of what are recognised to be the other “peculiar” doctrines or facts of Christianity—­such as the divine, as well as holy and perfect character of the Person so loved;—­His atoning work, as the grandest expression of His love to us, and that which most of all kindles love in us to Him;—­the teaching of the Holy Spirit, through whom alone we, who are spiritually blind, can so perceive the spiritual character and glory of Jesus as to admire and love Him;—­and prayer, by which we can hold actual, personal intercourse with, and thus come to know and love Jesus more and more from experience:  these, I say, and other doctrines appear to me to be involved in the very idea that Christianity is supreme love to Jesus Christ.  But I shall not consider any of them except one, the first and all-important, the very pillar and ground of the truth—­viz., the divinity of Christ’s Person.  Let us therefore inquire—­

II.

WHO WAS JESUS CHRIST?

A more important question cannot be proposed for our consideration!  Who is this, I ask with absorbing interest, whom I am commanded to honour as I honour the living God?  Who is this who claims my unreserved faith, my unlimited obedience, my devoted love?  Who is this who promises to pardon my sins through faith in His blood; to purify and perfect my nature through faith in His power?  Who is this in whom I am to abide in life; into whose hands I am to commit my spirit, and the spirits of all who are dear to me, in the hour of death; whose voice is to call me forth from the grave when He comes again, and who is finally to judge me, and to determine my eternal condition?

That Jesus Christ does make those claims upon us, and those promises to us, is certain; and it is equally certain that they have been, and are, joyfully acquiesced in by the Christian Church.  The question, then, which I have proposed for your consideration, is confessedly one of equal importance with the truth of Christianity.  We cannot, with sincerity and intelligence, profess a willingness to examine into the nature of the Christian religion, much less profess faith in it, and yet reject the consideration of the question regarding the Person of Jesus Christ as being unimportant or unnecessary.

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